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UC Santa Cruz builds national data center for cancer genome research
Date:5/1/2012

gh recent studies using genetically targeted treatments have shown promising results, much more research is needed to enable their widespread use, Haussler said. "There won't be one magic bullet, because cancer is not one disease, or even 100 diseases. Every instance of cancer is different. We have to improve our understanding of the molecular biology of cancer and develop computer algorithms so that we can analyze the genetic changes in each individual patient. It will take time. But with cancer genomics, we will eventually know our enemy completely."

Haussler's team assembled the first draft of the human genome sequence in 2000 and created and maintains the UCSC Genome Browser, a web-based tool that is used extensively in biomedical research and serves as the platform for several large-scale genomics projects. His group's contributions to cancer genomics research include creation of a Cancer Genomics Browser for analyzing data from large-scale cancer studies.

Haussler's group built CGHub to support all three major NCI cancer genome sequencing programs: The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Treatments (TARGET), and the Cancer Genome Characterization Initiative (CGCI). TCGA is a collaborative effort led by NCI and the National Human Genome Research Institute to map the genomic changes that occur in at least 20 major types and subtypes of adult cancer. The TARGET program is a related effort focusing on the five most common childhood cancers, and the CGCI makes available genomic data from HIV-associated cancers and certain lymphoid and childhood cancers.

These programs are laying the foundation for personalized cancer care by creating a database that scientists around the world can use to connect specific genomic changes with clinical outcomes. Haussler's group has been closely involved in data analysis for TCGA.

"TCGA is allowing us for the first time to look at cancer in full
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Contact: Tim Stephens
stephens@ucsc.edu
831-459-2495
University of California - Santa Cruz
Source:Eurekalert

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